Imperialism In A Passage To India

1401 Words6 Pages
Terry Greene
Mr. Manwell
Eng 3
Period 3

British economic interest began in the 1600s when the East India Company set trading posts in three different Indian states. What would India have that Europe would want? The simple answer to that particular question is its spices. Asia was like the Middle East and spice was like the oil of present day trading, and India was one of the most productive markets in the world at that time. During the first hundred years of European presence, the India’s ruling Mughal Dynasty kept the western powers and European traders under control. However, by 1707 the Mughal Dynasty began to fail and in 1757 the East India Company became the leading power in India.(Embree 176)With this shift in ruling power the British population began to rise in India and with this rise of the British population came friction between the British and the natives. E.M. Forester’s novel, A Passage to India, demonstrates the relationship between two very different cultures and their inter-workings as a society, and how they fail to peacefully cohabitate the same country.
A Passage to India, inspired by Forester’s experience in India, focuses on the relationship established by the British colonies and the Indians in Chandrapore and draws attention to the difference between the European and Indian way of thinking. In this particular novel, Imperialism dominates both cultures’ ways of life. Imperialism favors the British better than the Indians, and white superiority motivates the main characters. The novel explores the ways in which imperialism informs the human value, or rather, human character under The British Raj, both its derogatory and unifying effects. The ghost of the Colonial Other comes to per...

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...he imperialistic society that they live in eventually causes their friendship to crumble. Aziz and Fielding are too optimistic about Brpttains purpose in India, so each suffers whe they learn the harsh truth, Aziz and Fielding’s “effort to bring English and Indians together, is notable for its failure; genuine contact across racial and cultural barriers.” ( Monk. 393)
Forester pays great attention to the description of the two societies and how they interact and also the relationship they form together. A Passage to India is a classic example of how different cultures, when forced to intermix, misunderstand each other, and what consequences come about from those misunderstandings, all because they are constricted by their roles in the colonial construct. A Passage to India shows how cultural clash prevents the Indians and the British from coexisting peacefully.
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